Hyundai-Kia's U.S. Sales Hit New High

Hyundai and Kia's monthly sales in the U.S. hit a record high in May. The two automakers on Tuesday said sales there rose 6.5 percent from to the same period last year to 130,994 cars.

Hyundai sold 70,970 cars, up 3.5 percent. Last month's sales volume surpassed the previous record of 69,728 in March 2012.

The best-selling model was the Santa Fe SUV, which rose 49.5 percent on-year to 10,638 units. Hyundai also sold 21,867 Avantes compacts (sold as the Elantra in the U.S.) and 20,404 Sonata mid-sized sedans.

"We expect sales to keep growing because the LF Sonata went on sale last week," a Hyundai spokesman said.

Affiliate Kia sold 60,087 cars in the U.S. last month, narrowing its gap with Hyundai by just around 10,000 vehicles. It was the first time that Kia’s monthly sales there surpassed the 60,000 mark.

The K5 mid-sized sedan (sold as the Optima in the U.S.) and Soul hatchback stood out. Kia sold 16,843 K5s and 15,606 Souls, which are records for both models.

Sales of Kia's Sorento SUV rose 14.9 percent to 10,548 units.

Meanwhile, total car sales in the U.S. in May rose 11.4 percent compared to the same period of 2013 to 2.76 million.

Despite recent recalls, GM sold 284,694 cars in May, up 12.6 percent on-year and above the industry average. Toyota saw sales rise 17 percent and Chrysler 16.7 percent.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 05, 2014 12:37 KST